NanoPi R5S image

Continuing the discussion from Open Beta v8.7 | Please help testing and hardening our upcoming release:

I am very excited to see this image is finished! I am expecting to receive this device in the mail at some point next week, so the timing is just incredible. :blush:

I do have a question: in the FriendlyElec wiki for this device (here) they describe the installation process as booting off of the SD card but installing to the native eMMC. In fact they have a couple installation methods that do not use an SD card at all. Once the installation is up, the SD card is no longer needed.

After reading through the DietPi installation instructions, I get the impression the installation will instead remain on the SD card–is that right? Is there a reliable/recommended method of manually migrating the installation from the SD card over to the eMMC (or perhaps an SSD)?

A little further down in the FriendlyElec wiki post (here), after the image is installed to the eMMC, there is a firmware bundle that gets flashed to the drive as well. Is this firmware bundle included in the DietPi image, or otherwise not needed if using DietPi?

Thanks for your time; I appreciate any insight you can provide! :slightly_smiling_face:

See Running DietPi from an USB stick or an onboard eMMC

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Thank you Jappe, that is very helpful! I can see this guide is thorough and thoughtfully-written as well. It looks like it’ll be a cinch!

I took another look at the firmware installation I had mentioned above, and after reading through the FriendlyElec wiki document again I now realize this second download is a custom utility specifically for flashing the image to the eMMC (I had originally thought it was a needed firmware bundle, like a BIOS update or something). Anyone following the documentation you have linked will not need this special package.

Thanks agan Jappe, I’ve marked your response as the solution and I’m looking forward to taking a crack at it once the computer arrives.

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Yes indeed FriendlyELEC ships “eflasher” images additionally which can be used to flash embedded images from SD card to internal eMMC. DietPi doesn’t have such a feature yet (resp. for x86_64 only).

What you can do is booting any image from SD card, then downloading and flashing the DietPi image from there to internal eMMC.

While I haven’t tried it yet, it seems to be also possible to attach the R5S via USB to a PC with respective drivers installed. Holding the MASK button when booting should then make the eMMC available to the PC so that you can flash again from there. See also R5S wiki for this.


I got it to run by just flashing it from a friendlywrt sd image and uploading the DietPi image to emmc tools.


I’m having trouble installing DietPi via SD card. I’ve flashed it to SD and tried booting but I get no input on the HDMI of the R5S and the LAN port doesn’t light up at all.

I’m connected via HDMI to mini HDMI on a portable monitor. Is there anything else I should be doing?

Thanks in advance.

You need to connect ethernet to the WAN port and not to LAN1/2. As well, on first boot it will take a while (1-2 minutes) before the system becomes ready. Just tested on the R5S lying around :slight_smile:

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Hi Joulinar thanks for the speedy response.

That still doesn’t explain why I’m getting no HDMI output to the monitor? When you connected did the WAN/LAN ports light up green? I’ve got nothing.

EDIT: I’ve managed to SSH to the NanoPi by plugging into WAN port instead of LAN 1/2 so thanks again! will probably just set it up headless!

Yes, that’s important as we use the WAN port as default one.

I have connected a regular HDMI monitor without issues. Maybe you could try with a different one.

As well you could

  • install R5S DietPi image to SD card
  • boot the system
  • perform initial setup
  • transfer the DietPi_NanoPiR5S-ARMv8-Bullseye.img file to SD card
  • copy image to eMMC
dd if=/root/DietPi_NanoPiR5S-ARMv8-Bullseye.img of=/dev/mmcblk2 bs=1M status=progress
  • poweroff
  • remove SD card
  • reboot
  • perform initial setup (again)
  • done :slight_smile:

Thanks. I basically am trying to set this up as a router (eventually) and install portainer so I can run something like photoprism through docker.

My first foray with SBC’s so forgive my ignorance. Are there any docs on how to get this up and running? I’ve installed Portainer and Docker via DietPi software… just not sure where to go from there. Currently looking at some Youtube videos now.

Thanks in advance.

unfortunately, we don’t have a ready to use setup guide on how to enable router mode/ or setup bridged interfaces. Something we might need to create on our docs. As of now, our tools support a single Ethernet + 1 WiFi interface only. If you like to use more than 1 Ethernet, you will need to check on the web how to enable bridged interfaces :grimacing:

I recall the documentation didn’t work as expected when I went through it as well. I ended up doing something like this:

  • Flash SD card with the image and boot to SD card
  • Run dd command from within DietPi to flash image (again) to SSD.
  • Shutdown, remove SD card, power on and run through setup again.

Basically, same way as running of the local eMMC

My system did not boot off of the eMMC after being moved the way described in the linked document, but re-flashing the eMMC from the SD card worked fine. But yes, basically the same I think.

which document you are actually referring to?

This one, from the second comment of this post:

In the case of the NanoPi R5S, the system is not bootable after following these instructions. I couldn’t figure out why exactly, so I ended up doing it another way.

ahh you tried to swap the running system from SD card to eMMC, right?

Yes, in the instructions the filesystem is changed to read-only and then copied over. I recall it seemed to work fine (I don’t remeber getting any error messages, etc), but then the system did not boot.

I see, maybe I will find time and play around with my R5S.